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Student Aid: College Prep Checklist

Student Aid: College Prep Checklist

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Published by: Student Aid on Jan 27, 2008
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06/14/2009

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College Preparation Checklist
Pre-High School
o
Start saving or college i you haven’t already. Lookinto college savings plans that your state may oer. 
o
ake classes that challenge you. 
o
Do your best in school. I you are having difculty,don’t give up—get help rom a teacher, tutor or mentor.
o
Investigate which high schools or special programswill most benet your uture interests. 
o
Become involved in school- or community-basedextracurricular activities that enable you to explore yourinterests, meet new people and learn new things.
High School
Every Year
 
o
Continue to save or college. 
o
ake challenging classes in core academic subjects: mostcolleges require our years o English, at least three yearso social studies (history, civics, geography, economics, etc.), three years o mathematics, and three years o science, and many require two years o a oreign language.Round out your course load with classes in computerscience and the arts. o increase your chances o receivingan Academic Competitiveness Grant in college, ollow a“rigorous high school program.” For more inormation,visit
www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov/funding
.
o
Stay involved in school- or community-basedextracurricular activities that interest you or enableyou to explore career interests. Consider working orvolunteering.
Remember—it’squality(notquantity)thatcounts.
 
o
Save copies o your report cards, awards, honorsand best work or your academic portolio. 
o
Athletes, artists, scholars and others should startcollecting items (such as game tapes, newspaperclippings, stats, awards, artwork, school papers, etc.)or their portolios.
9th Grade
 
o
ake challenging core classes. (Core subjects arelisted above, under “Every Year.”) 
o
Start planning or college and thinking about yourcareer interests. At
www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov
 you can register with MyFSA and research yourcareer and college options.
10th Grade
 
o
Continue to take challenging core classes.(Core subjects are listed above, under “Every Year.”) 
o
Meet with your school counselor or mentor to discusscolleges and their requirements. 
o
alk to adults about what they like and dislike in their jobs and about what kind o education is needed oreach kind o job. 
o
Consider taking a practice Preliminary SA (PSA),or the PLAN exam, also known as the “pre-AC”.
 
o
Plan to use your summer wisely: work, volunteeror take a summer course (away or at a local college).
*Remember: Register or all tests in advance and be sureto give yoursel time to prepare appropriately! I you havedifculty paying a registration ee, see your school counselorabout getting a ee waiver.
Download this fact sheet at
www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov/pubs
 
 
College Preparation Checklist
11th Grade
All Year
 
o
Continue to save money or college. 
o
Continue to challenge yoursel academically. Mostcolleges require our years o English, at least three yearso social studies (history, civics, geography, economics,etc.), three years o mathematics, and three years o science, and many require two years o a oreign language.Round out your course load with classes in computerscience and the arts. o increase your chances o receivingan Academic Competitiveness Grant in college, ollow a“rigorous high school program.” For more inormation,visit
www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov/funding
.
o
Stay involved in school- or community-basedextracurricular activities that interest you or enableyou to explore career interests. Consider working orvolunteering.
Remember:it’squality(notquantity)thatcounts.
 
o
Update your portolio. (A portolio might includeawards, game tapes, newspaper clippings, artwork, etc.) 
o
alk to people you know who went to college to learnabout what to expect.
o
Research colleges that interest you. Visit them andtalk to students. Make lists to help you compare dierentcolleges. Tink about things like location, size, specialprograms and college costs. 
o
Go to college airs and presentations bycollege representatives.
o
Investigate nancial aid, including scholarships.Understand the dierent types o aid and sourcesor aid. Check your school’s scholarship postings,colleges’ nancial aid Web pages and your libraryor directories o special scholarships. 
o
For more inormation about scholarshipsand ederal student aid opportunities, visit
www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov 
.
Fall
 
o
ake the Preliminary SA/National Merit ScholarshipQualiying est (PSA/NMSQ).
Even i you took it orpractice last year, you must take the test in 11th gradeto qualiy or scholarships and programs associated withthe National Merit Program.
o
Write to your U.S. senator or representative i youwould like to attend a U.S. military academy. 
o
See your school counselor i you are interested inparticipating in an ROC program.
Spring
o
Register or and take exams or college admission.*Many colleges accept the SA I or SA II: Subjectest, while others accept the AC. Check with collegesyou are interested in to see what tests they require. 
o
Make sure you le with the NCAA (National CollegiateAthletic Association) Clearinghouse i you want to playor a Division I or II team. When registering or andtaking the SA or AC, enter “9999” as one o the collegechoices to have test scores sent to the Clearinghouse.
Summer Beore 12th Grade
 
o
Narrow down the list o colleges you are interestedin attending. I you can, visit schools that interest you. 
o
Contact colleges to request inormation andapplications or admission. Ask about nancialaid, admission requirements and deadlines. 
o
Decide whether you are going to apply under aparticular college’s early decision or early actionprogram. Be sure to learn about the programdeadlines and requirements. 
o
Begin preparing or the application process:dra application essays; collect writing samples;assemble portolios or audition tapes.
o
I you are an athlete and plan to play in college,contact the coaches at the schools to which youare applying and ask about intercollegiate andintramural sports programs and athletic scholarships.
*Remember: Register or all tests in advance and be sure togive yoursel time to prepare appropriately! I you havedifculty paying a registration ee, see your school counselorabout getting a ee waiver.
Download this fact sheet at
www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov/pubs
 

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